Visual culture and violence: inventing intimacy and citizenship in recent South Asian cinema

The 1947 Partition of India has recently re-emerged as a thematic concern of many South Asian films about nationalism in popular and parallel cinema. These films invoke the 1947 Partition in both productive and troubling ways: they connect it to the contemplation of the role of religion in the contemporary nation-state, and of the impact of religious ethnicity, terrorism and gender on the experience of citizenship in both India and Pakistan. Recent popular Bollywood cinema uses the Partition to invent new narratives of secularism and secular nationality for minority citizens; however, these narratives rely on the capture of intimacy and inter-ethnic coupledom for nationalist discourses about citizenship. In contrast, exilic or third cinema offers a postcolonial feminist critique of the terror of ethno-nationalisms in South Asia by representing their violent effects on intimacy in the minority female citizen's everyday life.

Kavita Daiya
Taylor and Francis Online